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Afraid of large crowds? Here's how to manage your fears post-pandemic

Posted at 5:58 AM, Jul 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-13 08:23:56-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — The arrests made in Denver over the weekend, certainly put us all on edge!

Police say they have not found direct evidence that the suspects were planning a mass shooting, but the circumstances surrounding what was found, still leaves many uneasy; Especially when it comes to attending events where there are large crowds. There's also been a rise in violent crime in the U.S., and the Delta Variant is spreading across the country. There are a lot of factors that are making people scared to be at large gatherings.

Let's not forget it's also festival season here in Southern Colorado. Families are hankering to get their kids out and about, but again that fear of being in large crowds Is very real for so many.

Dr. Jill Stoddard, a Clinical Psychiatrist at the Center for Stress and Anxiety Management, says being nervous about what post-pandemic life will be like is normal. If you manage your fears in a healthy way, that can help prevent future anxieties and ease the transition.

"When you are re-entering there is still going to be some anxiety, because this is something that we haven't done in so long," Dr. Stoddard said.

If you're afraid of crowds right now, pick a small scale event to go to, like a family cook-out or a small dinner date with friends. Then work your way up from there.

"I think the other part is being thoughtful about what you want to do, and what you don't want to do," Stoddard explained to our news partners. "I think the pandemic has taught us that we can be a little more choosy.

If you are at a large-scale event, it's okay to practice being mindful. Check your surroundings. If you see something out of place or suspicious, definitely say something.

If you are still uncomfortable without a mask in public, it's okay to still wear one. Take it slow and don't cave in to peer pressure.